BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1867


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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          1867 (Steinorth)


          As Amended  March 31, 2016


          Majority vote


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          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Judiciary       |10-0 |Mark Stone, Wagner,   |                    |
          |                |     |Alejo, Chau, Chiu,    |                    |
          |                |     |Gallagher,            |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     | Cristina Garcia,     |                    |
          |                |     |Holden, Maienschein,  |                    |
          |                |     |Ting                  |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
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          SUMMARY:  Permits certain seals and signatures that are  
          electronically stored, faxed, or photocopied to be  
          self-authenticating, and allows the use of certain  
          electronically stored, faxed, or photocopied documents to verify  
          the content of a writing.  Specifically, this bill expands the  
          definition of "electronically digitized copy" of records of  
          criminal convictions, enacted by the Legislature in 2013 (SB 378  








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          (Block), Chapter 150, Statutes of 2013) to include "a copy that  
          is made by scanning, photographing, or otherwise exactly  
          reproducing a document, is stored or maintained in a digitized  
          format, and bears an electronic signature or watermark unique to  
          the entity responsible for certifying the document."


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Provides that evidence of a statement made outside of court is  
            hearsay and inadmissible unless there is an exception.  


          2)Requires a writing to be authenticated before it is received  
            into evidence and before secondary evidence is used to verify  
            its content.  


          3)Creates a presumption that a seal is genuine and its use  
            authorized if it purports to be the seal of one of a specified  
            entity in the United States, of countries recognized by the  
            United States, or a notary public in the United States.  


          4)Creates a presumption that a signature is genuine and its use  
            authorized if it purports to be the signature of an employee  
            of the United States, an employee of a public entity in the  
            United States, or a notary public in the United State, so long  
            as the individual is acting within his or her official  
            capacity.  



          5)Allows an official record of conviction certified in  
            accordance with Evidence Code Section 1530(a), or an  
            electronically digitized copy thereof, to be admitted into  
            evidence to prove the commission, attempted commission, or  
            solicitation of a criminal offense, prior conviction, service  








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            of a prison term, or other act, condition, or event recorded  
            by the record and defines "electronically digitized copy" to  
            mean a copy that is made by scanning, photographing, or  
            otherwise exactly reproducing a document, is stored or  
            maintained in a digitized format, and bears an electronic  
            signature or watermark unique to the entity responsible for  
            certifying the document.  (Evidence Code Section 452.5.)


          FISCAL EFFECT:  None


          COMMENTS:  The sponsor, the California District Attorneys  
          Association (CDAA), asserts that current law regarding the use  
          and admissibility of "electronically digitized copies" of  
          records of criminal convictions, enacted by the Legislature in  
          2013 (SB 378 (Block), Chapter 150, Statutes of 2013) is overly  
          restrictive and therefore is not widely used.  


          SB 378 amended subdivision of Evidence Code Section 452.5(b)  
          (with changes to then-existing law in bold) as follows:


               (b)(1) An official record of conviction certified in  
               accordance with subdivision (a) of Section 1530, or an  
               electronically digitized copy thereof, is admissible under  
               Section 1280 to prove the commission, attempted commission,  
               or solicitation of a criminal offense, prior conviction,  
               service of a prison term, or other act, condition, or event  
               recorded by the record.


               (2) For purposes of this subdivision, "electronically  
               digitized copy" means a copy that is made by scanning,  
               photographing, or otherwise exactly reproducing a document,  
               is stored or maintained in a digitized format, and bears an  
               electronic signature or watermark unique to the entity  
               responsible for certifying the document.








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          According to CDAA, "This means that in order to take advantage  
          of this new law, the court clerk's office would have to affix an  
          electronic signature or watermark to the electronically  
          certified document.  Clerk's offices around the state have not  
          yet been able to take advantage of this procedure to produce  
          electronic records of convictions."


          In order to address this concern, this bill amends the  
          definition of "electronically digitized copy" in Section  
          452.5(b)(2), as follows:


               (2) For purposes of this subdivision, "electronically  
               digitized copy" means a copy that is made by scanning,  
               photographing, or otherwise exactly reproducing a document,  
               is stored or maintained in a digitized format, and meets  
               one of the following requirements:


               (A) The copy bears an electronic signature or watermark  
               unique to the entity responsible for certifying the  
               document.


               (B) The document that is copied is an official record of  
               conviction certified in accordance with subdivision (a) of  
               Section 1530 which is transmitted by the clerk of the  
               superior court in a manner showing that the copy was  
               prepared and transmitted by that clerk of the superior  
               court.  A seal, signature, or other indicia of the court  
               shall constitute adequate showing.


          The proposed language, limited to certified copies of criminal  
          convictions, will provide more flexibility for electronic copies  
          of those records to be transmitted from courts and allow those  








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          copies to be admitted into evidence while ensuring that the  
          actual custodian of the record has certified that the certified  
          copy, as well as the electronic copy of that record, accurately  
          reflects the content of the original writing.




          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Alison Merrilees / JUD. / (916) 319-2334  FN:  
          0002680